I finally made it to the Gugelhopf Cafe and was not disappointed. My wife had a salad, I had the wiener schnitzel, and we shared a basket of bread. Everything was simple and impeccable -- perfect bistro fare. For dessert we had the sacher torte and the apple strudel, which resulted in the single happiest five-minutes of eating I've done in the state of North Carolina.
The meal struck me as the more impressive in comparison to the meal I had last weekend at the Berghoff, Chicago's oldest and most famous German eatery. There too I had the wiener shnitzel and the apple strudel, but, regrettably, the old stereotype about German food being "heavy" proved all too accurate.
In my opinion, the likes of Fearrington House and Magnolia Grill, with their squirt bottles and their vertical presentations and their big white plates and their strained attempts at fusion, have nothing on seemingly modest restaurants like Gugelhopf and Udupi, where great traditions are faithfully and intelligently upheld.